“It is a shame that gas production increased after the Huizinge earthquake”

The earthquake in Huizinge in 2012 was really a “drama”. But what happened next was really “terrible” – gas production rose after the earthquake. And when the good news came in 2018 that the gas tap was shutting off in Groningen, “Tensions were just beginning. Suddenly thousands of families heard a reinforcement of their homes. I’m waiting Developed. Scandal and drama.

Albert Rodenborg, 69, the former CDA mayor of the former municipality of Loppersum, spoke on Monday before the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee investigating Groningen gas production. Clarified his position, pronounced his answers. “It was always all driven by money.”

After an eight-week summer recess, the Parliament’s Inquiry Committee on Natural Gas Extraction in Groningen on Monday began questioning Rodenburg. From 2003 to 2018, he was mayor of Loppersum, the earthquake epicenter in Groningen. Investigations this week were dominated by the 2012 Huizingi earthquake, with a magnitude of 3.6, the deadliest to date, which occurred in the municipality of Rodenburg.

Rodenboog has been aware of earthquakes in the area since taking office in 2003 as mayor of Loppersum. But no one in his municipality was involved administratively, he sounded the alarm as the first official. “Until the earthquake at Huizinge stopped, residents were given a measure of paint or cracks were sealed for damage.”

After Huizinge, Rodenboog got tired of it. It was believed that Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) should quickly reach a proper settlement of home claims in the area. But the Non-Aligned Movement did not thank him for this statement. “They called me that we had a good relationship. But this did not interest me at all,” Rodenbog said on Monday. A few hours later, then-Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen protected the gas extractor. According to him, the NAM has an excellent handling of claims. But he He didn’t know what was going on at all.”

Even after the hit at Huizinge, there was no quick settlement of claims. “There were thousands of reports of damage, and residents were afraid,” Rodenbough said. But Minister Henk Kamp, Verhagen’s successor and economic affairs minister between 2012 and 2017, chose to save time by conducting fourteen investigations. That was outrageous, because we had a major security issue. Week after week we were having severe tremors.”

death danger

Seismologist Anne-Marie Montendam Bose, 47, of the independent supervisor, Government Oversight of Mines (SodM), recognized this wait-and-see attitude, the second one heard on Monday. After the Huizinge earthquake, I started an investigation because the NAM and KNMI did not want to do “proactive” research.

The SSM investigation showed that there is a clear relationship between gas production and earthquakes in Groningen. Until then, the assumed probability of an earthquake with a maximum magnitude of 3.9 was not enough: the earthquakes could be much heavier. This means that Groningen will not only have to deal with minor damage to homes. There was a serious security risk. Montendame-Boss: In earthquakes greater than four magnitudes, facades, chimneys, and even homes can collapse. There was the danger of death, a danger that was previously unimaginable.”

However, this investigation was not heard. “The KNMI, the authority in the field of earthquakes in the Netherlands, was hesitant. The Ministry of Economic Affairs hardly responded, and the Non-Aligned Movement confirmed that the danger to Groningen remained the same.”

Due to the disbelief of the Muntendam Boss, Minister Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs, VVD) decided in 2013, after the publication of the SODM report, to increase gas extraction to the highest level since the mid-1970s. “We gave urgent advice to reduce gas extraction as quickly as realistically possible, but the gas tap was fully turned on. This is incredible.”

Rodenboog still had this disbelief when asked about a possible increase in Groningen’s current gas production due to higher gas prices: “It’s still not safe. This realization is not very widespread in the Netherlands. People still live in unsafe homes with children. This No way.”

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